Kadir, the War and the Prophet’s Cat

Children & Young Adult, Young Adult, YA Age 14+, YA Social Issues

Kadir is sixteen; German, Turkish, an exceptionally gifted football player—and an IS warrior


Kadir is standing in front of the packed football stadium in Hamburg’s St Pauli district. His sports bag at his feet, his hand raised clutching a cellphone, he shouts Allah Akbar! God is great. Is Kadir about to blow himself and hundreds of innocent people to kingdom come? Mark, best friend and fellow footballer, tells us how it came to this, from Kadir’s radicalisation through his “brethren” from the culture club to the day of his abrupt disappearance from Hamburg. It’s not until much later that Mark discovers the truth: Kadir has been in Syria. We see him side by side with IS fighters; we witness his everyday life in Syria, caught between boredom, violence and a semi-permanent state of shock. But now Kadir is back in Hamburg—having made the disastrous decision to die as a martyr.

• The novel describes the radicalisation of a young boy culminating in his decision to become an IS warrior
• How much truth is there to Kadir’s story? The epilogue gives us the lowdown.
• includes a comprehensive glossary

Benno Köpfer

Benno Köpfer read Prehistory and Islamic Studies in Freiburg, Cairo and Sanaa. As an archaeologist, he has been involved in various excavations in Yemen and Syria and travelled the Islamic world from Mauritania to Pakistan. He currently works as a research analyst with the Verfassungsschutz—Germany’s domestic intelligence service.

Kadir, the War and the Prophet’s Cat

Kadir is sixteen; German, Turkish, an exceptionally gifted football player—and an IS warrior


Kadir is standing in front of the packed football stadium in Hamburg’s St Pauli district. His sports bag at his feet, his hand raised clutching a cellphone, he shouts Allah Akbar! God is great. Is Kadir about to blow himself and hundreds of innocent people to kingdom come? Mark, best friend and fellow footballer, tells us how it came to this, from Kadir’s radicalisation through his “brethren” from the culture club to the day of his abrupt disappearance from Hamburg. It’s not until much later that Mark discovers the truth: Kadir has been in Syria. We see him side by side with IS fighters; we witness his everyday life in Syria, caught between boredom, violence and a semi-permanent state of shock. But now Kadir is back in Hamburg—having made the disastrous decision to die as a martyr.

• The novel describes the radicalisation of a young boy culminating in his decision to become an IS warrior
• How much truth is there to Kadir’s story? The epilogue gives us the lowdown.
• includes a comprehensive glossary

Bibliographic Data
352 pages, ISBN: 978-3-423-43038-8
First published 2016